Would you agree more men are having botox these days?
Richard: Absolutely. Men today are facing increased pressure to look youthful, athletic and masculine. And there’s definitely an increased social acceptability around it. Greater perception of the safety and efficacy of botox procedures is encouraging male patients who want to pursue it. Looking younger and more athletic can improve confidence and self-esteem. And then there’s the impact of social media. There’s such a desire to look good online. And botox is easy and it works. You’re in and out quickly, and the results last several months.
Catharine: I see a lot of men getting botox because it is seen to give them ‘executive edge’ in the workplace. It makes you look younger and therefore able to compete professionally with more confidence. The driver is often to look fresher and, less tired.
In your own clinics are you seeing a lot more men than you used to?
Richard: Yes. A lot of my male patients will get botox before a job interview or a special event like their wedding.
Catharine: Botox is the most common treatment I administer and 30% of my botox treatments are on men. This is a huge increase from last year and the number is only growing. I treat a whole range of male clients from different walks of life. Just the other day I had a male army cadet come in for his first botox treatment.
What questions do male clients ask the most often?
Richard: ‘Will my face look frozen?’ My philosophy has always been: less is more. I always treat my patients conservatively so as not to give them a ‘frozen’ look whereby they cannot make any expression. A complimentary follow-up review is scheduled after two weeks to ensure the patient is happy with the results. If there is still too much movement, I’ll give them a top up..
Catharine: For me it is always, “Does it hurt?” Most end the consultation saying, “Oh, is that it?”
And how would you describe the treatment to a first timer?
Richard: Quick,easy and pain free. You might find it odd that you can’t move certain facial muscles as much, but this feeling subsides once you get used to it, and with subsequent treatments it doesn’t happen.
Catharine: Treatments are quick – usually 20 minutes – and not nearly as uncomfortable as men expect. Guys often pop in at lunchtime, can go straight back to the office afterwards and colleagues are none the wiser.
Where should you have it?
Catharine: Botox works by blocking a particular neurotransmitter from reaching receptors and so preventing receptor activation. In the face, which is one of my most popular areas for botox, this softens muscle movement and in doing so smooths fine lines, and prevents and softens wrinkles. It can also be used to block the same chemical in sweat glands, so it’s great for treating excessive sweating. I often use botox as a preventative to sweating, particularly in the armpit. This is usually for men who wear close-fitting shirts to work and are concerned about sweat marks.
Richard: Lines and wrinkle reduction on the face, specifically around the eyes, are usually what people are seeking to correct. The aim with botox is to break the habit of frowning and squinting to reduce the appearance of the lines, which will then also help to reduce the development of further facial lines. I also use botox to elevate the eyebrows, opening up the eyes to give a more relaxed, fresher appearance.
Where shouldn’t you have it?
Richard: Generally, the mid and lower face. If not injected with accuracy and a good understanding of the anatomy, botox in these areas can cause more problems – for example, droopy mouth, dribbling and asymmetry – than it may correct. It’s not always advisable to treat men’s crow’s feet because this is considered an attractive aspect to men – think Clint Eastwood. Don’t reject a doctor who says no if they feel you are asking for too much. Appreciate the doctor who says that’s enough.
What does it cost?
Catharine: Treatment costs vary; it depends on how many areas are treated, and can range anywhere from £270 to £450.
And how long does Botox last?
Richard: The effects last three to four months but, with ongoing treatments, it can last longer. I have a few patients that have treatments every six or nine months.
Is there a right age to start Botox?
Catharine: I see men of all but early 30s is the most common for anti-ageing. I have some patients who’ve been having botox since their early 20s and it has worked wonderfully as a wrinkle preventer. Botox is also a great treatment for older ages, although by then we are looking more at wrinkle softening than prevention.
Richard: There’s no ‘ideal’ age but the majority of my patients start looking into it in their mid 30s to early 40s. It has now become the most popular and safe non-surgical cosmetic treatment performed today. Just remember, don’t overdo it!
For those familiar with Botox, are there any other treatments to know about?
Catharine: I’m finding more working men are coming in complaining of looking tired because of depressions or shadows in the under-eye area – especially working men who have long office hours or who travel a lot. Botox can’t be used for this, so I recommend under-eye filler, which takes no time at all and leaves you looking refreshed even after the heaviest of late-night office shifts and little-to-no downtime.
Richard: I have seen an increase in chin and jawline contouring for clients who would like a more masculine face shape. Building up a weak chin and more chiselled features is very popular with my patients, especially with newer fillers available and better techniques. Nose reshaping is also on the rise. Dermal fillers can be used in a variety of ways to correct a slight bump on the nose, depressed bridge (saddle nose), beak-like nose, or a droopy tip – creating a smoother profile. The treatment takes 30 minutes and can last 12 to 18 months.
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